*GM Darryl Sutter & newly acquired F Chris Higgins speak with the media*
Well, well, well, the other shoe I’ve been expecting to drop (also known as the Kotalik flip), has failed to do so. And after listening to some of Darryl’s comments today courtesy FAN960, its starting to look like it won’t, at least as far as Kotalik is concerned. After a whirlwind 48 hours, things have begun to settle down in Flame-land allowing us the opportunity to sit back, take a deep breath, and let it all sink in.
Chris Higgins arrived in time for Tuesday afternoon’s practice while Ales Kotalik had his flight cancelled and was not able to make it to Calgary in time. The Rangers sent Kotalik home from Colorado on Sunday, and he was expected to arrive in Calgary late Tuesday. Both are expected to be in the Flames line-up on Wednesday when the Flames host Carolina.
Eric Nystrom, who grew up playing hockey with Higgins in New York, figures he is a nice fit for the Flames.
"I think he is excited. This is a great place to play, there is no doubt about it. We haven’t been playing as good as we should be but this is a team that expects to win. He is the type of addition that can help this team. He’s got unbelievable skill. He’s fast and he plays a tenacious game. He is going to help us a lot," said Nystrom. The two also played together in the 2002 & 2003 World Junior Championships for Team USA.
So it looks as though Kotalik is here to stay (and really, who would take him… oh, right), but that doesn’t mean the Flames won’t still make another deal. In fact, I’d almost expect it. Read on down to see who the Flames are rumored to have made available league wide.
The FAN960’s Rob Kerr & Dean Molberg had a chance to interview Higgins Tuesday. He speaks of his season thus far, what to expect, and his relationship with Eric Nystrom. Click here to listen. Click here to listen to Darren Dreger’s thoughts on the Flames deals.
WHAT’S YOUR #?
For those curious, here are the numbers for the new Flames players…
#3 Ian White
#11 Niklas Hagman
#18 Matt Stajan
#19 Jamal Mayers
#21 Chris Higgins
#26 Ales Kotalik
WHO’S LINE IS IT?
New-look lines @ Tuesday’s practice…
*Lundmark & McGrattan are the extra forwards, but beause Kotalik wasn’t there, they took turns in his place.
Sounds like Conroy could be out for the year. Moss & Dawes remain on IR.
Dion Phaneuf and Fredrik Sjostrom played their first game in Leaf jersey’s, as JS Giguere picked up a shutout in his debut (Leafs won 3-0). Phaneuf played 24:21, and was a physical presence throughout the night. He fought Devils D Colin White after nailing Zach Parise just 6:51 in, and thus, the ACC fans were on their feet chanting his name. "It was a great honour to put this jersey on tonight and to be a part of this organization," he said.
"And the fans were unbelievable. To be on this side and playing in front of them wearing this jersey, it meant a lot to me. It was a very special game in my career." Sjostrom chipped in with an assist in 16:56 of ice time. The three Leafs newcomer’s just so happened to be the three stars tonight. So while fans in the T-dot start planning parade routes, TLP takes a comical look at Leaf fans.
In LA, Olli Jokinen and Brandon Prust made their Rangers debut. I miss Prust already…
Things are getting more and more interesting in the rumor mill. While Bob McKenzie tweeted that the Boston Bruins have made it known league-wide that F Michael Ryder is available, Elliote Friedman tweeted that the Flames have made it known Jamie Lundmark is available… Glen Sather, defending Olli Jokinen:"Calgary’s had six different players in the last six years guys who tried to play with Iginla."… "The media cost the Flames two points last night" – Jokinen… Word is the LA Kings may be closing in on a deal for Ilya Kovalchuk. Yikes! The Kings could be scary if they land him.